|By Business Wire||
|August 28, 2014 10:00 AM EDT||
Rather than leave a typical, run-of-the-mill voice mail message, starting today, Sprint customers with select Android devices can begin to upgrade to the latest Visual Voicemail software to grab the attention of their friends, family members and co-workers with personalized voice messages that feature talking characters (including animals, aliens, zombies and sock puppets), scenic backgrounds and voice effects. Sprint is the only U.S. wireless carrier to offer Avatars within Visual Voicemail.
Built using award-winning animation software from Smith Micro (NASDAQ:SMSI), the new service, available to Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA customers with select Android smartphones and Visual Voicemail, offers a wide range of content from world-renowned digital artists, allowing users to express themselves through multiple personas. The launch will include 12 free Avatars and 12 free backgrounds. The service allows customers to use Visual Voicemail to record and send animated messages with unique characters, backgrounds and voice effects.
Other features include:
- Celebrate a Special Occasion: Avatars are lip-synched with the user’s audio message of 20 seconds (standard) or up to two minutes (premium: subscribers to Visual Voicemail to Text service*). Choose from a wide range of backgrounds (for example, Happy Birthday, Love, Thank You, Congratulations, Thinking of You) to convey your mood and sentiment.
- Get Noticed: Flight delayed? Meet up for Happy Hour? Need to send a reminder? Avatars get attention.
- Updated Often: Diverse content library offering dozens of characters and backgrounds, with new content added every week. Some are free and others range in price, starting at $0.99.
- Have Fun with Your Voice: Use your own voice or optional voice effects with variable pitch control.
- Express Yourself with Scenery: Choose from a wide range of backgrounds (for example, airport, beach, bar or office) to set the stage about where you are (or wish you were!) or choose your own background photos from the phone gallery (premium).
- Share with Everyone: Avatar messages can be shared via voicemail, email, SMS, or posted to Facebook. Send messages to any subscriber on any network. The message can be viewed on the Web via any desktop browser, tablet or smartphone. If the receiver is not a Sprint customer or is a Sprint customer without Visual Voicemail (for instance, customers using a non-Android phone), they will receive an SMS message with a link to view the animated message.
“Integrating Avatars into our Visual Voicemail is yet another industry first from Sprint, because we strive to offer our customers innovative, fun and unique services that set us apart from the competition,” said Wayne Ward, vice president-Business and Product Development at Sprint.
“Smith Micro is thrilled to support Sprint as the first U.S. wireless carrier to launch Avatar messaging for their customers,” said William W. Smith, Jr., CEO of Smith Micro Software. “We are cultivating a fantastic library of content from an extensive artist community, including unique Avatar characters exclusively for the Sprint network.”
Sprint prepaid and postpaid customers with select Android smartphones will start to receive notifications to update their Visual Voicemail this month and next month, which will install the new version of the application with Avatars. Upon opening the new Visual Voicemail they will see two Avatar introduction videos and a happy face and plus sign icon on the lower right to get started.
The service is first available to Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA customers with Samsung Galaxy S® 5 and Samsung Galaxy S® 3, and to Sprint customers with Samsung Galaxy S® 4, Samsung Galaxy Note® 2, HTC EVO 4G LTE and HTC One®. Other Android devices, both prepaid and postpaid, Ice Cream Sandwich and above, will be eligible for the update beginning mid-September.
To watch a video about how Avatars works, click here.
Calling all students: Avatar design contest
Now through Oct. 31, educators from any accredited secondary school, college or trade school will be able to register for free copies of Smith Micro’s award-winning Anime Studio® animation software for themselves and their students. The Avatar Challenge allows students to use Smith Micro’s animation software to create Avatar characters with the chance to have their creations viewed and used by millions through Sprint Visual Voicemail. To learn more, read this press release. Get contest details or register for the Avatar Challenge program here.
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served more than 54 million customers as of June 30, 2014, and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint as the most improved U.S. company in customer satisfaction, across all 43 industries, over the last six years. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America in 2011, 2012 and 2013. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
*Available on select phones. Visual Voicemail is a free service from Sprint. Subscription to Visual Voicemail-to-Text costs $2.99/mo.
Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5's entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senio...
Dec. 24, 2014 09:00 PM EST Reads: 1,199
15th Cloud Expo, which took place Nov. 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, expanded the conference content of @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit to include two developer events. IBM held a Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held a Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo floor. The Bluemix Developer Playground, for developers of all levels, highlighted the ease of use of Bluemix, its services and functionalit...
Dec. 24, 2014 06:30 PM EST Reads: 1,898
SYS-CON Media announced today that Skytap blog on "DevOps Journal" exceeded 84,000 story reads. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Noel Wurst is the managing content editor at Skytap. Skytap provides SaaS-based dev/test environments to the enterprise. Skytap solution removes the inefficiencies and constraints that comp...
Dec. 24, 2014 05:00 PM EST Reads: 1,299
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the ...
Dec. 24, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,699
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, focused on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud platfo...
Dec. 24, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 2,321
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to th...
Dec. 24, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 2,594
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 24, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 2,806
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
Dec. 24, 2014 01:45 PM EST Reads: 1,931
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Dec. 24, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,902
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
Dec. 24, 2014 12:30 PM EST Reads: 1,910
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
Dec. 24, 2014 12:30 PM EST Reads: 1,750
"ElasticBox is an enterprise company that makes it very easy for developers and IT ops to collaborate to develop, build and deploy applications on any cloud - private, public or hybrid," stated Monish Sharma, VP of Customer Success at ElasticBox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,689
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from ha...
Dec. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 2,109
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
Dec. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 2,059
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
Dec. 24, 2014 11:45 AM EST Reads: 2,189